Parents' Guide to

Fat Men From Space

By Norah Caroline Piehl, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Kids with a bent for the absurd will love this.

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Too sophisticated to be an early reader, too short to appeal to many older readers, this novel is aimed right at middle-grade kids with a certain brand of off-beat humor. Pinkwater's novels win fans among kids with a cynical bent, and this one is no exception. He toys with the conventions of the sci-fi novel, with fashion-impaired aliens who attack Earth because "spacemen always invade places." Worldwide panic results when the spacemen threaten earth's supply of doughnuts and cheeseburgers, and readers familiar with recent disaster movies will chuckle at this parody of the genre.

This novel makes up in bizarreness what it lacks in depth; William himself is not a developed character, and his parents and teachers are mere buffoons. Wildly imaginative details such as the spacemen's plaid jackets and hamburger-shaped spacecraft, however, make such weaknesses seem less significant as they set young readers' imaginations free.

Book Details

  • Author: Daniel Pinkwater
  • Genre: Humor
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publication date: January 1, 1977
  • Number of pages: 57
  • Last updated: September 16, 2015

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